Thursday, November 17, 2011

The unfortunate side of Capitalism and the Arts (Part 3)

I started writing this post in July, but I got overwhelmed because there is so much to this topic, and I didn’t know how to continue. But seeing information about the internet censorship fiasco made me realize that I need to finish my post. I am sorry it has taken so long.

If you don’t know anything about the internet censorship fiasco click this link, this is like big brother stuff and needs to be addressed. It is terrifying. Click here to get in contact with your congressman; apathy and doing nothing will not help. Telling your political representatives will do something. It is not hard, it is not confusing, just do it.

The RIAA (recording industry artists of America) are one of the groups behind these internet censorship bills, they are also a big part of the problem of which I am referring in these blog posts.

Boycott the RIAA! Do not buy brand new albums if they are owned by major labels, pirate, or buy second hand, if you want to support artists, go to their shows, buy their merch, give the bands money by sending it via snail mail, or literally handing them money when you see them.

As an addendum to the last post I found this video, and despite its vulgarity, and poor production quality, this indeed is part of the problem to which I am referring

Now to conclude my whole rant about Capitalism and the Arts.

Ultimately the problem with Capitalism is that money is the point. Honestly I am not Anti-Capitalist, I am not promoting Socialism, so before you conclude that I am trying to destroy America, know that I have no political agenda. So I hope you don’t think that I am trying to push ideas on you. I am a composer that has noticed patterns in the music world, and now notice those same patterns outside of the music world.

The way that capitalism works in America today is consumerism. We are a society thats entire economy is dependent on consumerism. We work to buy. The Government gives the people stimulus packages, so that they will spend money, which in turn will stimulate the economy. None of this is a secret.

The only way this system can fully sustain itself is by high turnover: people need to buy a new TV every five years because companies don’t make as much money off of a TV that people only buy once. Cars, Computers, Shingles, Cell phones... etc You name it, in five years whatever you have will be out of date, and falling apart. We can thank lightening fast developments in our technology, but we can also thank planned obsolescence for this reality. Planned obsolescence means that from the beginning of the blue prints, the engineers designed whatever item it is to fail after a certain period of time. A period of time that is just long enough for the consumer to not catch onto the fact the product was designed to fail. Otherwise, the consumer might use a similar product from a different company.

I think that is enough to relate these ideas to the arts field, but if you want more information click here.

Art outlets in this country are run by the same dynamics of mass production for mass consumption:

Consider the movie industry today: a movies success in today’s world seems only to depend on what it makes in the box office. When we hear info about the movies from this week, we hear which movie did best according to how much money it made(they are making a transformers 4 for crying out loud!)

Television looks through the same lens: by rating a shows success by how many viewers it gets, but honestly that information doesn’t matter to us the consumers, that information matters to advertisers. If a show is getting a lot viewers, then it has more advertising potential (firefly, and arrested development got cancelled).

Unfortunately music is subjugated by the same mindset. All the fades that happen through the years boy bands, girl idols, Matchbox 20, all of these things are just like I said, fades, and once again their success is dependent on how many records they sell.

Do you notice something unusual? Art in our culture is labeled as successful or unsuccessful by how much money it makes. I do understand that money can be a strong indicator of the successfulness of a work because it can indicate the amount of people the said work were willing to spend money on it.

Before you read on I want you to consider your favorite albums, (go ahead I’ll wait) ones that have lasted through the years and that keep on resurfacing, look through your most played in itunes. Consider the music that has meant the most to you.

In 1999 the Backstreet Boys released Millennium and since then it has sold over 40 million copies. The next in the 90’s was in 1997, Shania Twain’s Come on Over, and then the Bodyguard soundtrack in 92. ( I am just listing albums from the 90’s that sold over 40 million, there are others in the 40 million section, but they are all from before 1987) The reason I am listing the landmark 90’s albums is because these albums are considered highly successful in the music industry especially considering the short amount of time it took them to reach 40 million.

Now, was Millennium, Come on Over, or the Bodyguard soundtrack in your favorite albums list?

I want this blog to be respectful and objective, and it is my respectful, objective, opinion, that those albums suck.

They suck, and if this society dies out, those albums are not how I want our music to be remembered!

How is it that top albums in the industry are so terrible? *shoulder shrug.

I will probably talk more about this in other posts, but I want to talk about other things... like writing music... I would love to know what anyone else has to say about this...

Boycott the RIAA!!!!

Be well friends

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